Ciro Ciampi & Anna Matarazzo married in Avellino, Italy in 1951. During the floods of Avellino moved to San Tommaso in Avellino where they eventually opened Bar Settebello which was frequented by the local community. They had 5 children – Raffaele, Giuseppe, Antonio, Angelo and Silvana with ‘Peppe’ emigrating to Bedford in 1970 to seek a better life with work at London Brick in Stewartby.
Umberto Zanna & Ines Tamburini married in Nettuno, Italy in 1944. In 1951, Nonno came to Bedford to work at London Brick in Stewartby as one of the 1st Italian Immigrants to arrive here and began creating a better life for his young family.
Eventually his young family joined him in Bedford and Nonno could afford to buy a home in Warwick Avenue, they had 5 children – Francesco ‘Angelo’, Carlo, Aldo, Bruno and Angela.
The sacrifices and hardships experienced are beyond our imagination, we owe a debt of gratitude to all the Italian Men and Women that came to Bedford to create one of the biggest Italian communities outside Italy. We all now enjoy the rich Italian heritage of Bedford because of our Nonni.
Giuseppe Ciampi, born in Avellino in 1954, came to Bedford in 1970 looking for opportunities and work. Known fondly to his friends and customers as Peppe, he originally worked at London Brick but also held down secondary positions as a baker, plumber and labourer as well as playing football for various local sides.
Angela Zanna was born in Bedford in 1954 when Nonno finally brought his whole family to Bedford to join him in 1953.
Peppe & Angie met, courted and were married in 1975 with three children to follow with Ciro in 1976, Massimo in 1980 and Anna in 1981. In 1981, they fulfilled an ambition to own their own business by opening G & A Ciampi’s Italian Delicatessen at 97 Howbury Street, Bedford. With this success, Peppe & Angie seized the opportunity to buy 44-46 High Street, Clapham where Pizzeria Vesuvio first opened its oven doors in 1987 and Peppe continued to run the ‘Stapleton’ bakery located at the rear of the premises. With time the bakery, serving Bedfordshire’s Italian establishments, made way for the function room which meant Vesuvio could host a variety of celebrations. In 1992, Peppe was caught out by Jeremy Beadle and became a local star in Beadle’s About.
Soon came the acquisition of Clapham Post Office next door where Peppe became Clapham Post Master and also extended the parking premises for both Vesuvio and the Post Office customers.
In 2004, the opportunity to purchase the land off the A6/Park Lane which already had planning permission for a hotel and restaurant for many years, and as a family we decided to make the personal and financial investment to Vesuvio new premises and extend our expertise into the wider hospitality industry.
Long hours, hard work and commitment to our customers is an integral part of my role as General Manager of our family business. I didn't shy away from experiencing work alongside my parents in our delicatessen and then at 11 years old when we opened Pizzeria Vesuvio in 1987.
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VesuviO has been an important part of my life throughout growing up and I thrive on being part of a successful family business. As VesuviO manager, I take a lot of pride in the training of our team and exceeding our customers expectation.
As a family we all have our role to play and we work together daily with the same objective. Everyday provides new challenges and we always look for new ways to enhance our customers experience.
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Living above Pizzeria Vesuvio in Clapham when we first started and growing up in the family business taught me some valuable business lessons which have helped me shape my future.
I had my dream wedding in our new premises in 2008 and remain proud to have had my Civil Ceremony in the new VesuviO with a great wedding breakfast & reception in The Amalfi Suite.
With the experience of being a Bride at The Sharnbrook, I can honestly say my brothers will ensure you have an amazing Wedding Day if you choose us!